ANALYST Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) shares his verdict on Sunday afternoon's Premier league tussle between West Ham and Man City.
West Ham v Man City | Sunday 29th April 2018, 14:15 | Sky Sports
Manchester City may already have won the Premier League title, but it’s clear that they’re keen to continue winning games in triumphant fashion. Their 5-0 win over Swansea was emphatic, and they’ll want to beat West Ham in a similar fashion.
West Ham are now six points clear of the relegation zone and an unlikely win on Sunday would all but confirm their place in the league next season.
With the title already wrapped up, Manchester City showed that there would be no signs of them slowing down with a 5-0 thrashing of Swansea last Sunday. The numerous Premier League records that City can still break will surely be one of the reasons motivating them to carry on scoring goals and playing superb football. They can still break records such as most points, most wins, most goals and biggest title-winning margin, which will ensure they’re not “on the beach” come Sunday.
Guardiola emphasises this, by saying: “If the numbers help us to keep focused, that is perfect. Playing football with no intention is unwise – sometimes, you play lazy. Records are not forever but they help us to keep focused on what we have to do.”
Manchester City have won 16 of their last 20 away games, only losing to Champions League semi-finalists Liverpool, scoring 50 goals in that time. Both teams to score has landed in nine of those away games, with the likes of Burnley, Huddersfield and West Brom all managing to score against the champions.
When West Ham lost 3-0 at home to Burnley and the fans revolted on the manager, the team and the owners, many were worried that the toxic atmosphere around the club would have an adverse effect on the club, and lead to the club’s relegation. But after the Hammers followed that up with a 3-0 win over Southampton at the London Stadium, the atmosphere improved and they’re now all but safe from relegation.
David Moyes wasn’t fancied by many people when he first took over from Slaven Bilic, but he’s done a good job in East London, and it now looks likely that he’ll sign a new contract. Marko Arnautovic is one player that has flourished since the Scotsman took over, and he’s scored nine and assisted three since Moyes came in.
The Hammers have only lost one of their last seven home games, scoring nine goals in those games. They’ve scored against Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea at the London Stadium this campaign, and in the form they’re in at the moment, you wouldn’t put it past them doing the same against City.
The betting angle
As the stats show, West Ham don’t have trouble scoring goals at home and, whilst they’ll come up against a resilient Manchester City defence, I do fancy them to score again at the London Stadium on Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s side are 19/10 with BetStars to win with both teams scoring and I think that’s a decent price.
I’ve already highlighted Marko Arnautovic’s form under Moyes and the Austrian actually scored against Manchester City when he was at Stoke. I think if West Ham are to get a goal, it will be Arnie, and he’s 4/1 with Paddy Power to score his side’s first goal on Sunday.
West Ham v Man City – Man City win and BTTS (19/10 BetStars)
West Ham v Man City – Marko Arnautovic to score (4/1 PaddyPower)